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August 7, 2019

Is it Compulsory to Send My Child to Kindergarten?

The official primary school age in Singapore is seven years old. Preschool and kindergarten attendance before primary school are not compulsory but due to the rigorous nature of education in Singapore and to empower younger generations through education, the government and various community groups highly encourage parents to send their children for kindergarten education as much as possible.

The benefits of attending kindergarten far outweigh the cons as enrolling in preschools can improve the child’s chance to succeed in later years, especially if they are from families that lack financial stability. Excelling in education from a young age is one way to mitigate this. Thus, the government provides support through subsidising kindergartens operated by the Ministry of Education and childcare centres operated and regulated by the Early Childhood Development Agency for children younger than 7 years old.

Is it Mandatory to Go to Kindergarten?

Hence to the above question, we can positively say it is not mandatory as with legal consequences, but unless you want to deprive your children from learning opportunities, then you may choose not to send them to any. When you and your child are ready to embark on the education journey, that is a good time to commence enrolment. In fact, children should achieve certain key stage outcomes after kindergarten years. Holistic development of Singapore’s future generations is of utmost importance because the government knows that the best investment it can make for its people is through education.

Other than building their self-confidence and enthusiasm for life-long learning at kindergartens, children should master language and communication skills, learn how to share and relate with others, have their curiosity aroused, know the rights from wrongs, develop physical coordination and motor skills suitable with their age, cultivate healthy habits and many more. It is not to say that a home environment cannot provide the same growth opportunities for children, but in kindergartens all the above are considered as part of a child’s individual growth objectives and monitored closely by caregivers and teachers at the kindergarten.

Can You Skip Kindergarten?

Skipping kindergarten education is not usually advised. In a country so focused and committed in education, leaving out the early years of education for a child is an equivalent to giving them a hard start in life. For every day that their peers are developing various life skills in a growing environment with trained teachers and caregivers, the child will be limited to a solitary home environment. A high margin of subsidy is available and more information about it can be accessed here. Though it is difficult for some, financial support is available for parents to truly give the best they can for their children.

How Can I Enrol My Child into a Kindergarten?

In Singapore, you may need to register early, around March or April the year before your child is estimated to start preschool. The preschool education can begin as early as 2 years old, attending what we call nursery schools or childcare centres, until they are 4 years old (N1 and N2 respectively). Then they may continue with kindergarten education (of K1 and K2) for children aged 4 to 6 years old. The school fees range depending on the type of kindergarten school. On the year they turn 7 years old, they can embark on their primary school education prepared and with ease and confidence.

As loving parents, we want to give our children the best start possible in life. Despite the rigorous and competitive education system, this fact also shows that much emphasis is placed on the importance of education. Through the aid of government subsidies and the large number of kindergartens available to the population, our young children can build strong foundations with an early head start.

Read more about our Kindergarten Curriculum here.